Here’s what progressive liberals, led by President Joe Biden, get wrong about the push in TexasFlorida, and other red states to keep life-changing decisions from being made on children: nearly everything.

From their misleading verbiage, such as “gender-affirming care,” to their cultish acceptance of the idea that 12-year-olds’ self-diagnoses are not only reliable but sacrosanct, to their conflation of gay rights with experimental medical treatments on children, liberals refuse to accept that children just need to be children.

Here’s what Biden said recently about the push in the Sunshine State: “What’s going on in Florida is, as my mother would say, close to sinful. It’s just terrible what they’re doing. … It just, to me, is, I dunno, it’s cruel.” He went as far as to threaten legal action against states that try to protect children.

But he’s wrong. States such as Texas and Florida are right to prohibit surgical and chemical modification of children. As the author of the Texas legislation Senate Bill 14 state Sen. Donna Campbell put it, “Our children need counseling and love, not blades and drugs.”

Let’s start with the verbiage. “Gender-affirming care” sounds harmless and even positive. Yet it covers horrific medical procedures on children that result in a lifelong need for treatments , sterility , and the inability to orgasm .

For example, forearm phalloplasty “makes a penis” for a female-to-male transitioner from skin taken from the forearm. It’s a 12-hour surgery that does not, in fact, result in a penis — it results in a scarred forearm and a medical mess down below. Even the trans-cheerleading New York Times admits that “with a steep rate of complications, it remains a controversial procedure.”

More and more research documenting risks to the health of children and irreversible side effects associated with these treatments has led several European nations to reverse course on providing such care to minors.

Next, there’s the laughable claim that a 4-year-old can make such life-altering decisions for themselves. As outspoken liberal Bill Maher said on his HBO show Real Time, “I wanted to be a pirate. Thank God no one scheduled me for eye removal and peg leg surgery.”

Here in Texas, the state Senate recently held a hearing on Senate Bill 14, which would prohibit medical doctors and professionals from administering puberty-blocking drugs or cross-sex hormones, or performing surgeries, to children under 18. When psychologist Megan Mooney was asked, “Whenever a child who comes in and says I’m a trans kid, do you believe them?” Mooney answered without hesitation, “Yes.”

But children say all kinds of things, and they change their minds — a lot. There’s no denying the social contagion in the transgender movement among children. In California, for example, children “identify” as trans at a rate 38% higher than the national average. And nationwide, the number of children identifying as trans has doubled in recent years — even as the number of trans adults stays the same.

Children simply don’t have the mental capacity to make decisions that could so drastically alter their lives. That’s why we don’t let them drink alcohol, get tattoos, enter into contracts, or smoke cigarettes. That’s not oppression; it’s the proper role of government to protect children from harm, recognizing that children legally lack the mental capacity to make adult decisions.

Finally, there’s the attempt by the Left to conflate protecting children with some kind of violation of the “rights” of gay people. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Texas Tribune, for example, laments that “Sen. Bryan Hughes, who championed some of last session’s most conservative bills, wants to block kids from seeing sexually oriented drag shows.” But what even the Texas Tribune makes clear is that no one’s talking about restricting drag shows, or anything else, for adults.

You have to ask, why is the Left so intent on exposing other people’s children to sexual themes? Can’t we spend school time on learning instead of indoctrination? Can we keep the culture wars outside the classroom and focus on, say, reading, writing, and arithmetic? In Texas, we know that 70% of our fourth graders cannot read at grade level and that 95% of those who fall behind will never catch up.

We have a duty as a society to protect those who can’t protect themselves. Florida, Texas, and other red states take that duty seriously. We’ll ensure that children can enjoy their childhoods without the burden of identity and sexual politics being loaded on their shoulders.